July 27, 2017 by petrujviljoen
Helen, Helen, why did you hide?
I, who walked obliquely
(they cut off my little toes)
was a daytime furtive
a wizened, furrowed, wrinkled wraith-
I danced my shadow selves at night naked
Helen, Helen, why did you cry?
Ugly and dirty long before
I lived even though I was pretty. The
serving and the serving. The serving made
me cry. After she and he and he and the baby died.
Helen, Helen, what did you create?
First thing I did was throw out the stove. Ha!
After that long night, the business with the
(lack of) light, the protracted shudder of grey
existence. Apprehended for the time. I. Being.
Living the numinous night
light uniquely intended, acutely created
the social realm transcended
an enigmatic conception of
I, tiny, wiry sparrow so called.
Three hours in counted normal time it took
lighting lamps, candles. The night. The ritual.
Softening. The ridicule.
Helen, Helen, how did you live?
I lived by the spoon put by the making of the
unspawned being, nourishment incomplete
I stayed and loved and others fed. Me. When I
I lived by tremendous surge of suppressed
hunger. Amidst banal accepted routine of
them who said they will. Like me, be like us.
And I? Couldn’t.
Helen, Helen, how did you die?
I died as I lived. By my hands, shredded,
bared to crushed glass. Pierced,
punctured, consumed right through.
My ashes were in red. The owl was
Linked to Dverse Poets
About Helen Martins, South Africa’s most famous outsider artist. https://theowlhouse.co.za
I made this for the creative writing course offered at Novoed, Power of the Pen, Identity, Community and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays: https://app.novoed.com/poetry-and-plays-2017. The course has just started, into its first week, should anyone be interested in joining.